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Date: c. 370-365 B.C.

"The soul in her totality has the care of inanimate being everywhere, and traverses the whole heaven in divers forms appearing;--when perfect and fully winged she soars upward, and orders the whole world; whereas the imperfect soul, losing her wings and drooping in her flight at last settles on t...

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: c. 370-365 B.C.

"After this their happiness depends upon their self-control; if the better elements of the mind which lead to order and philosophy prevail, then they pass their life here in happiness and harmony--masters of themselves and orderly--enslaving the vicious and emancipating the virtuous elements of t...

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: c. 43 AD

"And so the mind can never suffer exile, since it is free, kindred to the gods, and at home in every world and every age; for its thought ranges over all heaven and projects itself into all past and future time."

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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Date: c. 43 AD

"Those things that men's untutored hearts revere, sunk in the bondage of their bodies--jewels, gold, silver, and polished tables, huge and round--all these are earthly dross, for which the untainted spirit, conscious of its own nature, can have no love, since it is itself light and uncumbered, wa...

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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Date: w. c. 63 A.D.

"Moreover, we ought not to allow our desires to wander far afield, but we must make them confine themselves to our immediate neighbourhood, since they will not endure to be altogether locked up."

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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Date: 397-401

"I have spilled and scattered ... my thoughts, the innermost bowels of my soul, are torn apart with the crowding tumults of variety."

— St. Augustine (354-430)

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Date: 1597

"One of our souls had wandered in the air, / Banished this frail sepulchre of our flesh."

— Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

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Date: 1607

"If the happie Daemon of Vlisses direct not the wandering planet of my witte within the decent orbe of wisedome, my stammering pen seeming far ouergon with superfluitie of phrase, yet wanting matter I answer with the poet one only word inuerted."

— Walkington, Thomas (b. c. 1575, d. 1621)

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Date: 1620

"For when we try to recollect or call a thing to mind, if we have no prenotion or perception of what we are seeking, we seek and toil and wander here and there, as if in infinite space."

— Bacon, Sir Francis, Lord Verulam (1561-1626)

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Date: 1641

"But I see what it is: my mind enjoys wandering off and will not yet submit to being restrained within the bounds of truth. Very well then; just this once let us give it a completely free rein, so that after a while, when it is time to tighten the reins, it may more readily submit to being curbed."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.